View Full Version : 54 Corner Canopy Build in Detail

11-18-2007, 10:43 AM
***Ok I thought I would give back in a way of a build thread for all the help everyone has given me here on ARC in ways of stupid Noob questions. I know theres a basic pic thread I did but this will give some details to those who would like to do something similar. So sorry for the double post and feel free to delete other post Mods.

Here’s a fairly in depth 54 Corner Canopy build. I have not found any real build anywhere on the net so I hope this will help those who would like to build one for their corner or bow tank.

First thing done was cut a 2 inch donut template out of ¾ finished birch and a full template for the top of the canopy. I also brought the templates out 1 ½ inches in the front so there was room to run wires on the side and gave me about ¾ of an inch out on the bow. This allowed for easier opening of lid and more dimension to the canopy. The 11” 2x2 studs were cut to join the top and bottom. You must remember to put 2 studs relatively close together on the right and left sides of the front end so when you cut the canopy to make the hinged opening it holds together. You’ll get the idea in the pics and later when I cut the lid out.

I found the best thing I purchased to do this product was a nail gun to hook up to my compressor and my compound miter saw. This probably cut my time down by hours!

After all studded out I precut the wood for the sides and the bow front. I used an 1/8 in. planked type paneling to match the base of the tank. The night before I leaned the bow front piece against a saw horse so it had a bend to it. This just helped alleviate any stress on the wood when bending. No heat no water…I did however cut the height of the sides and front an extra 2 1/2 inches to cover the molding of the tank and help it to not slide.

Once together a quick run from garage to dining room to check fit…Perfect.

This all has gone way to easy for the moment. Now I look at the canopy and realize now I have to take a circular saw from the left corn to the right corner and down the sides to create the lid…gulp. Measure 43 times cut once. I screw up and I start over…horrible thought. This is where the cut is between those 2 studs I was talking about separating the the front lid to the back canopy.
After the cut, my daughters boyfriend and I looked at each other and laughed. We couldn’t believe how well it went! I then took piano hinge and fastened to the lid and the back canopy. Back upstairs for fit….Cool!! I thought to myself.

Now for the paint…..Standing in Sherwin Williams I take out the phone and call a member for advice (Big D). I elected to go with an indoor/outdoor black gloss spray paint for the exterior. The reason being it would show the grain of the would and it was a good maych to the base unit of the tank. For the interior I used an “extreme white” latex acrylic. It dries quick and it dries hard. I could have went with a marine epoxy but I didn’t think it would have been any more beneficial.

Now that it’s painted and looked good on the tank, lighting was next. I used to have a 20” 150w Sunpod on the glass tops. After a few days Jeep and I went with a trade. It was an enclosed 250w double ended MH bulb and 2 dual 65w pc actinic bulbs. I had a 10k bulb and a 20k bulb. I elected to go with the 20k for looks and easier acclimation for my softies and clams. Ill still have much more par than the 14k 150w and give me the “Look” I was looking for. I opened the unit to drill two wholes in the top for the bolts that would go through the top of the canopy to secure the fixture. Afterwards I cut all but a ¼ of the bottom coming out of the canopy and used a rubber stop to cover it so it wouldn’t scar up the lid when open. I also cut a 3 inch whole in the top where the fan is on the fixture for ventilation.

After 2 trips to Home Depot for forgotten “stuff”, one trip to paint store, one trip to liquor store (a must after the nailing and measuring) and a truckload of junk from the garage to the dump so I could work in the garage I was done in 7 hours (not including lights)

I really hope this helps others in the future because I couldn’t find any detail builds, plans or anything else before this. I know theres probably many many ways to do this and more ways to do it better. But, it worked for me and Im very happy with the finished product.

Id like to thank karl for his input and explaining some things he did on his 92, Jeep for the lights and Big D for just being Big D.